Tips on Domain Name
- Start out with the domain name extension
- Coming up with your root domain name
- Keep in mind that you can always change your domain name but…
Picking a domain name for your new website can sometimes be the hardest part of the starting your website process. I am very particular when it comes to choosing a domain name. I will spend days brain storming random words related to my websites niche in order to come up with a catchy and unique domain name. It's not the cost of the domain name that I am worried about, rather how well I can brand the domain name that I want.
Start out with the domain name extension
This is VERY important. If you choose the wrong extension, you could end up advertising your competitor instead of your own website. Years ago these two website started – rent.com and rent.net. Both of them completely different companies. Anyway, rent.net spent all this money advertising and trying to brand their domain name yet they still went out of business. The website rent.com reaped all the branding and advertising from rent.net because most people automatically think/remember .com before .net or .org. By rule of thumb, if you want a domain name and the .com is taken but the .net is not, chances are it is not a good idea to go for the .net.
If you are trying to make a country specific website, it is sometimes better to go with that countries tld over the .com. For instance, If I wanted to start a web hosting business in the UK I would want to buy a .co.uk instead of .com. Reason being is search engines rank websites geographically and they use the domain extension to help determine its origin.
Picking a lesser used extension can sometimes create a unique web url. For example the website del.icio.us has become very popular even though it still uses the .us extension. This is because they were able to create a unique web URL that stood out from the rest of the related websites. However, recently del.icio.us purchased delicious.com because it was pretty easy to mess up typing/saying del.icio.us. If you want to take the route of a unique domain name, you should try and get the .com spelling of it if possible.
Coming up with your root domain name
The root part of your domain name would be makingwebsites if your web URL was www.makingwebsites.com. Making a catchy root domain takes a bit of creativity and patients. For me, this is always the most annoying part of starting a new website. Mainly because the first 100 ideas you come up with are bound to be registered already. All I can recommend you do is keep with it until you eventually find something you like.
You should avoid domain names with:
Sometimes it is wise to put the niche of your website in your domain URL. For example, if your website is about 'blue cars' you would want to register a domain like www.BlueCarsAreCool.com. Search engines often give a ranking boost to words that are in your domain name.
Keep in mind that you can always change your domain name but…
Whenever you change the domain name of your website you are going to lose all the backlinks you built up over the life of your domain name. It's almost like starting from ground zero when you change your website URL. If you absolutely need to change it, change it. If you just want to change it because you thought of something cooler, I wouldn't recommend it.